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Giro d'Italia 2014: Stage 20

Welcome to live coverage of the Giro d'Italia stage 20 from Maniago to Monte Zoncolan.

It's finally here the summit finish of Monte Zoncolan and this is the final chance for the general classification riders to take time on their rivals.

Nairo Quintana took his second stage victory yesterday, 17 seconds ahead of Fabio Aru. The Cima Grappa time trial provided us with some food for thought and made a few changes in the overall classification. Here is how it finished yesterday.

 

1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 1:05:37
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:17
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:26
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:01:57
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:24
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:03:22
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:03:28
8 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky 0:03:48
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:04:00
10 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky 0:04:10

It looks like Nairo Quintana has things all but wrapped up, but the Zoncolan can break even the strongest of riders and it's still all to play for. The most interesting battle will be for the spots behind him on the podium. Here are how things look after yesterday's stage.

1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 79:03:45
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:03:07
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:48
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:05:26
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:16
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:06:59
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:09:25
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:09:29
9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 0:10:11
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:59

Before the riders can even think about the Monte Zoncolan they have two other climbs to tackle, the Passo del Pura and the Sella di Razzo. This is today's profile.

 

You can also watch our video preview of today's stage here and make sure to subscribe to keep up to date with all the latest videos.

The riders are off now for the penultimate stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

We have at least one non-starter today. Lotto Belisol's Kenny Dehaes missed the time cut yesterday. He took to twitter and vented his frustration at the organisers. You can read what he had to say here.

The good news for the riders today is that there is sunshine on top of Monte Zoncolan. God knows they could do with some. It must be one of the wettest Giri in a long time.

A little aside from the racing. Belkin rider Jos van Emden chose that midway up the Monte Grappa yesterday was the right time to propose to his girlfriend. He climbed off his bike and proposed to her at the side of the road. Fortunately she said yes and he finished well within the time cut. Here is the moment captured on camera.

 

We've only been racing for about 15 minutes but we've already got attacks off the front. A group of 19 riders have got 30 seconds on the peloton. we will bring you names as we get them.

The 19 riders out front are:

Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale, Franco Pellizotti & Jackson Rodriguez ( both Androni Giocattoli),  Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani), Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Belisol), Yonathan Monsalve & Mattio Rabottini (bothNeri Sottoli), Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), Simon Geschke & Georg Preidler (Both Giant-Shimano), Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-QuickStep),  Maxime Belkov (Katusha), Dario Cataldo (Sky), Michael Rogers & Nicolas Roche (both Tinkoff-Saxo) Danilo Hondo & Riccardo Zoidl (Both Trek Factory Racing)

148km remaining from 167km

That group of 19 have 3:12 on the peloton at the moment. They are being chased by one man Daniele Ratto (Cannondale), who is 30 seconds back.

Brent Bookwalter (BMC) has joined this front group, swelling their ranks to 20.

The teams who have missed out at this point are Movistar, Astana, Cannondale, FDJ, Colombia, Garmin-Sharp and Orica-GreenEdge

The best placed rider in this break is Franco Pellizotti. He was in the break on stage 18 and put in a good performance in yesterday's time trial. He sits in 14th place, 30:26 behind Nair Quintana.

It's not just the general classification up for grabs today. The mountains classification will be decided over the three climbs today. Here is how the standings looked at the start today.

 

1 Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing 173 pts
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 88
3 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky 86
4 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 79
5 Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia 69
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 57
7 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 46
8 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia 43
9 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia 41
10 Jonathan Monsalve (Ven) Neri Sottoli - Yellow Fluo 39

Dario Cataldo sits second in that competition and he has made it into the break. However, with only 78 points available today and an 85 point difference it will be impossible for the Italian to pass Julian Arredondo. The Colombian just needs to finish tomorrow to win the jersey.

Originally Arredondo was a potetial contender for the young rider's jersey. However, he hit the deck on stage 6 in the huge crash at Montecassino and lost more than 18 minutes. It has allowed him the freedom to go on the attack and winning the jersey will go some way to make up for losing out in the general classification.

123km remaining from 167km

The peloton have kept the gap to this large group of leaders relatively small. It stands at 3:40 at the moment.

Today will be the fifth time the peloton has ridden up the Monte Zoncolan at the Giro d'Italia. The first time was in 2003 where they took on the Sutrio side of the mountain. He won again when the went up the Ovaro side in 2007. Since then they Giro has alway gone up the Ovaro side, with Ivan Basso winning in 2010 and Igor Anton winning in 2011.

The Ovaro side is seen as the most difficult of the three different ways up this monster climb. It is a 10km slog that maxes out at 22 %. Here is a look at the formidable climb.

 

111km remaining from 167km

It has been a fast start to the stage. The riders completed the first hour at an average speed of 50.2 kph.

Rigoberto Urán is currently sitting in second place in the general classification. He's going to have to fight hard to keep Fabio Aru at bay today. We paid a visit to the Omega Pharma-QuickStep bus to have a look at the bike that Uran has been riding at the race, his Specialized Tarmac. You can watch the video here and subcribe to our YouTube channel here

After 56 kilometres of racing the gap to the peloton has eeked out a touch. The escapees have and advantage of 3:58. They're only 25km away from the bottom of the first climb, the Passo del Pura.

Cyclingnews has put together a gallery of the four previous ocassions that the Giro has taken on the Monte Zoncolan. The crowds are already lining the side of this climb and they should be in for a great show today.

After seeing how the climb looked in the past, here is how is looks today. The Giro d'Italia's English interviewer Daniel Lloyd took this snap. There's still some snow, but plenty of sun and huge crowds about.

 

95km remaining from 167km

Cannondale now leading the chase back in the peloton. Daniele Ratto was chasing the group of 20 leaders for some time, but he was eventually reeled back in. Cannondale have no-one out front for them at the moment.

The intermediate sprint is next up today, before the first category Passo del Pura. How many of the escapees will pass this first big test?

The riders have reached the foot of the Pura. Here is a look at what they face on this climb.

 

Cannondale's work has brought the gap down a little bit, but not by much. The gap to the 20 leaders is now 3:45.

Remember you can watch our preview of today's stage here and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Almost all of the riders in this escape group have been on the attack at some point during these three weeks. However, Michael Rogers is the only one to have won a stage. The Australian slipped away on stage 11 to Savona and took a solow victory. The Giro d'Italia is only his second race this season, after being cleared of doping by the UCI. You can watch what he had to say after his victory right here.

Confirmation coming through that Maarten Tjallingii took the points at the intermediate check. The Dutchman is very little threat to Nacer Bouhanni's lead in the points classification.

76km remaining from 167km

The gap is still being closed down. With so many riders in this break, the peloton are cautious of giving them too much time. The latest time check is 3:21.

Cannondale continue to do the chasing here and Movistar are happy to let them. Cannondale missed the break earlier today. Daniele Ratto tried to bridge the gap, but it was too little too late. Their best placed rider is Ivan Basso, who is in 13th and got into the break earlier this week.

Robinson Chalapud has attacked the peloton. He's got about 18 seconds on them. The gap to the escapees has been reduced to 2:40.

66km remaining from 167km

The escapees are 3km from the top of the Passo del Pura, lead by Tinkoff riders Michael Rogers and Nicolas Roche. Mountains classification rider Julian Arredondo didn't make it into the break, but his blue jersey isn't under threat. He holds enough of an advantage to make his jersey certain. Cyclingnews caught up with his team to have a look at the bike that the Colombian has ridden to this classification victory. You can watch it here.

More riders attacking out of the bunch, Pirazzi, Quemeneur and Wellens. They have almost caught Chalapud.

Pirazzi tried to bridge across when the break first went, along with Ratto, but he too failed. Bardiani already have a man in the break with Bongiorno.

Dario Cataldo strikes out of the escape group and takes Yonathan Monsalve with him. He takes full points at the top of the Passo del Pura.

Cataldo and Monsalve are caught on the descent. Monsalve currently leading the 20-man escape down towards the valley.

60km remaining from 167km

Chalapud crossed the top of the Passo del Pura 2:30 behind Cataldo. The peloton are just over a minute behind him.

Apologies, the Bardiani rider in the chase group with Wellens and Quemeneur is Zardini. He's one of the few Bardiani riders left who haven't taken a stage victory yet.

Michael Rogers has a mechanical on the descent. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider bins his bike on the ground and throws his hands up in despair. He's going to have to chase hard if he wants to make it back to the escape group. Not a time you want a mechanical.

Back in the peloton it is now Movistar who are at the front of the peloton. They're taking it very easily. Nairo Quintana is sitting in third wheel, probably the safest place for him - provided one of his teammates don't come down.

The slow pace of the Movistar team has had an impact on the advantage of the leaders. It has gone up to 4:30, as the race leaders pulls off to the side of the road for a comfort break.

Outside of the Giro d'Italia, Chris Froome has been making his preparations for the Tour de France. He is in Yorkshire with Richie Porte to check out the opening stages of the race. You can see our gallery here.

52km remaining from 167km

After his mechanical, Michael Rogers has made it back into the leading group, which has been reduced to 15 riders.

Wellens has managed to make it to Chalapud and they're passing some of the dropped escapees, as they ride up the Sella Razzo.

Wellens has put in a fantastic final week of this Giro d'Italia. The Belgian finished second to Stefano Pirazzi on stage 17. He got into the break the following day and finished ninth in yesterday's time trial.

Jackson Rodriguez is one of the escapees who have fallen back on this climb, as has Trek Factory's Danilo Hondo.

After discussing things with Movistar rider Francisco Ventoso on the fron of the peloton. Pantano goes on the attack, obviously getting permission to go from the former Spanish champion

46km remaining from 167km

Zardini now makes it across to Wellens and Chalapud. A dropped Tjallingii managed to get into his wheel.

Europcar have taken to the front as Chalapud is taken back into the peloton. Perhaps Rolland is planning something before the Zoncolan.

44km remaining from 167km

ThThe leaders are 4km from the top of the Sella Razzo. Behind them, Chalapud has pushed on and dropped Tjallingii and and Zardini.

Wellens and Chalapud make it onto the back of this leading group in time for the top of the Selle Razzo. The latest time check to the peloton is 6:04.

A reminder of the make-up of this front group, with our two new arrivals.

 

Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli), Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Belisol), Yonathan Monsalve (Neri Sottoli), Simon Geschke & Georg Preidler (Both Giant-Shimano), Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Maxime Belkov (Katusha), Dario Cataldo (Sky), Michael Rogers & Nicolas Roche (both Tinkoff-Saxo), Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing), Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) and Robinson Chalapud (Colombia)

41km remaining from 167km

It is Pierre Rolland himself on the front of the peloton now. Not long till the leaders crest the Sella Razzo.

Rolland attacks and immediately passes Jackson Rodriguez.

Dario Cataldo is leading the escapees up to the top and the leading group has lost a lot of riders now. Only five up front right now.

40km remaining from 167km

Pozzovivo and Majka are with Roman Sicard, just ahead of the peloton.

38km remaining from 167km

This trio only have a gap of around 10 metres and Igor Anton riders up to them to try and bring them back. The peloton has been dramatically reduced on this climb.

It is now Bookwalter and Monsalve on their own out front on this descent. They're taking advantage of the dry roads.

33km remaining from 167km

We're about 23 from the bottom of the Zoncolan. The descent off the Sella Razzo is pretty long, but there's only 2km in the valley before they're climbing again.

Monsalve and Bookwalter have been joined by a handful of riders, including Nicolas Roche who now takes things up on the front. They're advantage is now 6:01, but that could go very quickly in the next 28km.

At the foot of the Zoncolan the riders pass under this banner, which translates as the gates to hell - a comforting thought.

 

23km remaining from 167km

We're racing in the valley and the gap has gone back up to 6:30. The peloton not taking any big risks on this descent.

20km remaining from 167km

The road levels out a bit as they pass under the 20km to go banner and a few more riders manage to get back on. It looks like most of them have made it back.

Igor Anton was the last winner on the Zoncolan, after an impressive solo attack. He's working for Quintana today, but can he help his teammate replicate what he did three years ago?

As we wait for the Zoncolan to rear up, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can get all the latest from the final weekend of the Giro d'Italia. You can do it right here.

In this escape group we have a number of strong climbers and we can expect attacks right from the word go. Dario Cataldo has been very active in the last few days and he will be on the hunt for the mountains points, despite not mathimatically being able to overhaul Jualian Arredondo. Can he take a victory for Sky today? We will have to wait and see if 7:30 is enough for the escapees.

10km remaining from 167km

Here it is, it's what we've been waiting for. The Monte Zoncolan. The riders are in for one hell of a final 10km.

This is what the profile of this climb looks like, with two sections going above 20%.

 

8km remaining from 167km

Wellens sits ont he front of the group as riders begin to fall off the back. They've got 7:52 on the Movistar-lead peloton.

Movistar really up the pace in the peloton as they hit the bottom of this climb. Quintana in third wheel for now.

Two Movistar riders attack and actually drop their leader.

They slow down and Quintana makes the bridge, the peloton catches up too. The Colombian was on the radio pretty quickly to tell his teammates to turn down the gas.

6km remaining from 167km

The leaders are on a section of 16%, but it is about to get a whole load tougher for them.

All of the favourites look like they've made it into the main bunch on this climb. Who will be the first to crack and who will be the first to attack?

6km remaining from 167km

Geschke on the front of this dwindling group. His teammate Priedler is still there, with Chalapud, Roche, Rogers, Pelizotti and Bongiorno.

5km remaining from 167km

Pelizotti now takes things up and we're losing riders from this front group. Roche, Geschke and Priedly have all popped.

The peloton his the 16% section and Kiserlovski attacks, followed by Anton.

Basso is sitting on the back of this group. It doesn't look like he'll be making up much time on the GC today.

The peloton have been obliterated on this ascent. Rider all over the place and Cadel Evans has been dropped.

Kiserlovski is brough back by the chasing group. 

5km remaining from 167km

Rogers looks the most comfortable in the front group, as Pelizotti begins to dangle off the back. They've got 6:14 on the maglia rosa group. Can one of these three take it today?

Pelizotti has finally been dropped and it's just Bongiorno and Rogers out front.

After making an attack a little while ago, it looks like Kiserlovski is in trouble. He's hanging onto the back of the main group now.

4km remaining from 167km

Kelderman is no longer in the maglia rosa group. In there we have Quintana, Uran, Pozzovivo, Rolland, Aru and Majka.

Huge crowds on the Zoncolan. One of them gets in the way and Wout Poels decided to rip his sunglasses from his face and throw them into the grass.

One Colombian fan tries to give Quintana a push and he nearly takes the maglia rosa down. Quintana pushes him aside.

Igor Anton's face is one of extreme pain. He's really pushing hard on this climb and he's putting some riders in trouble. After his incident with a fan Poels is sent to the front to do the work.

The work of Poels and Anton has shed Pozzovivo, Majka, Rolland and Aru from the group. Anton is gone too and we've got Poels, Uran and Quintana in a group.

3km remaining from 167km

Bongiorno attacks, but he can't get rid of Rogers.

3km remaining from 167km

Aru tries to jump out of this second group of favourites, but he can't do it. Pozzovivo is the next to take it up. The maglia rosa is disappearing up the road.

Aru looks like he's struggling hard. The efforts of the last few days are taking their toll.

2km remaining from 167km

Another fan causing problems. He tries to push Bongiorno and sends him into Rogers. The Italian has to take his foot out and then get back going. He's lost a lot of ground on Rogers now.

2km remaining from 167km

15 seconds separating the Quintana group from the Pozzovivo group

2km remaining from 167km

Poor Bongiorno looks like his hopes of victory have all but gone now. Rogers could be in for his second stage win

1km remaining from 167km

Rogers is going deep here. He's gasping for breath as he makes his way through these crowds.

1km remaining from 167km

Pieter Serry, who was in the break earlier today, has been caught by the maglia rosa group and he now takes up the work on the front of that group. Uran has two teammates with him, Quintana is on his own.

Rogers goes under the flammes Roge and this is his to lose now.

Rolland is being dropped from the Pozzovivo group, but Aru is still there.

Rogers is now riding to his second stage win of this year's Giro d'Italia. It's true what they say, they're like busses.

Pelizotti catches Bongiorno and they're into the final kilometre.

Rogers wins

Rogers is immediately engulfed by his team boss Oleg Tinkov.

Pelizotti drops Bongiorno and finishes second. Bongiorno comes in 49 seconds down.

Uran and Quintana are still together on this climb. Just over 1km for him to secure his maglia rosa.

As we wait for the main GC guys to come in, the remnants of the breakaway are coming across the line. Georg Preidler finishes and has to grab onto a fence to stop him from falling over, he's cooked.

Aru leads the second group of favourites, he didn't manage to take Uran today but he's riding himself into third place. What a great Giro d'Italia for the 23-year-old.

Quintana and Uran are now side-by-side as the climb to the finish. a 1-2 for Colombia in the general classification.

Quintana has one last lisst dig to lead Uran over the finish line.

This is a huge moment for Colombia. Before this year they never had a rider in the pink jersey. They've had that since stage 12 and now they have their first winner. All Quintana has to do tomorrow is finish.

Majka gets a couple of seconds on Aru at the finish, but he needed a lot more than that if he wanted to pass the Sardinian in the GC.

Cadel Evans crosses the line well down, at 1:20 back on Rogers , he's not had a great final week of this Giro d'Italia.

We now await the official GC after today's stage, but our winner is Nairo Quintana. Rigoberto Uran takes second and Aru finishes in third.

Michael Rogers spoke after his victory, this is what he had to say:

"It's really worth it. it's amazing it's always been my dream to win a mounttop finish like that. Monte Zoncolan is a great climb and to win like that is amazing.

 

"It's one hell of a climb, but it makes it all the more better. Those climbs, Zoncolan, Stelvio and Gavia are huge climbs and to win is every cyclist's dream."

Here is the top 10 for that stage

 

1 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
2 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
3 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinkoff-Saxo
5 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
6 Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia
7 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Shimano
8 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky
10 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano

Here are the time gaps at the finish, Bongiorno lost a lot of time in those final kilometres. What could he have done if he hadn't been pushed?

1 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 4:41:55
2 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:38
3 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF 0:00:49
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:35
5 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:37
6 Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia 0:01:46
7 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Shimano 0:01:52
8 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:02:12
9 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky 0:02:24
10 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:02:37

And here is the confirmation of the GC:

 

1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 83:50:25
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:03:07
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:04
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:05:46
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:41
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:13
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:11:09
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:12:00
9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 0:13:35
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:15:49

This is a race that has been really dominated by two nations. Colombia and Australia, so it is fitting that we have both a Colombian and Australian winner today. Home nation Italy have done very well too, with six stage victories - more than any other nation.

You will be able to find the full report from today here and all the latest video from the Giro d'Italia here.

That is all from us today. Remember to tune in tomorrow for the final stage of the Giro, where the red jersey will be decided as the sprinters are action again.

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